Sep 14, 2018

Transcript of Television Interview – The Today Show – Friday, 14 September 2018

Subjects: Leadership spill; Malcolm Turnbull; Peter Dutton; Scott Morrison; envoys; Rabbitohs.

KARL STEFANOVIC: I’m joined by Anthony Albanese and Christopher Pyne from Adelaide. Good morning guys, how are you this morning?



STEFANOVIC: Okay, you’re first up again, Christopher. What is the former Prime Minister doing? Doesn’t he just need to shut it?

PYNE: Well look I don’t think people want us to keep talking about the internal dynamics of political …

STEFANOVIC: But he keeps talking about it.

PYNE: (Inaudible) whether it’s Labor or Liberal. We had great news this week on jobs figures. One million, one hundred and forty four thousand jobs created since the Government was elected five years ago, most of them full time. A lot more women, in fact, record numbers of women.


PYNE: That’s what people want us to talk about.

STEFANOVIC: They do. But we’re being side-tracked by the former Prime Minister himself. Malcolm Turnbull, he seems to be actively involved in trying to bring your Government down now?

PYNE: Well Karl we’ve spent far too much time in the last 10 years talking about the internals of Labor or Liberal or Greens.

STEFANOVIC: Have you spoken to the former Prime Minister? Have you told him to be quiet, to get on with it?

PYNE: Well I’ve spoken to Malcolm several times since he left for New York and I’ve spoken to him, texted him. He’s a very good friend of mine, as is Lucy. And I intend to continue to be in touch with him, but I think it’s time for us all to stop talking about the internals of political parties and put the Australian public first.

STEFANOVIC: So have you urged him to stop talking publicly and get on with it?

PYNE: I’m not revealing my private conversations. He’s a private citizen now. He doesn’t need to have his conversations talked about on the Today Show.

STEFANOVIC: Is Julie Bishop also aiding and abetting?

PYNE: Julie Bishop seems to be perfectly relaxed. I spoke to her several times this week. She’s just getting on with it, just like the Government is.


ALBANESE: Yeah it’s going well, Christopher.

PYNE: It is thank you.

ALBANESE: Keep with that line mate.

PYNE: Unemployment is down.

ALBANESE: This is a Government in its death throes and the whole of the country can see it. We now have a Parliament where Peter Dutton is sitting there – people know there is a question mark over his eligibility. He should refer himself to the High Court. This Government should go to an election and give the Australian people a say in who the Prime Minister is. Because it’s now three weeks since they knocked off Malcolm Turnbull and no one, including Scott Morrison, can explain why that happened.

STEFANOVIC: Are you asking for clarity on Peter Dutton, Christopher?

PYNE: Well we have good advice on Peter Dutton. And there are half a dozen Labor MPs who have much bigger clouds hanging over their heads than Peter Dutton.

STEFANOVIC: Why does Julie Bishop say there needs to be clarity, then?

PYNE: We’ve moved on from all of that and if Labor wants to keep pursuing it …

STEFANOVIC: She’s asking for clarity on Peter Dutton why aren’t you?

PYNE: I think it’s perfectly clear. If Labor wants to keep pursuing it, there’s half a dozen Labor MPs who could be sent to the High Court as well. So be careful what you wish for.

STEFANOVIC: The problem is, your government at the moment looks like it’s eating itself. That’s a perception issue and it’s a reality.

PYNE: No it isn’t, Karl. We’re getting on with the job, we’re creating the jobs in the workforce. The economy is growing. It’s the fastest growing economy in the G7. So we’re getting on with the job, as we are in defence and defence industry. We’re dealing with the drought, reforming childcare.

STEFANOVIC: Christopher, you also do talk straight on occasion. You have to know this looks so incredibly bad for your party.

PYNE: I think it’s time to move on, Karl. I think people are thoroughly sick of it.

STEFANOVIC: What with a different government?

PYNE: No, people are thoroughly sick of talking about it.

ALBANESE: Give the Australian people a say by calling an election. Christopher says there are doubts over others. The point here is Peter Dutton is a Minister. He is continuing to make decisions. There’s a question mark over every single one of those decisions.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, I’ve got a question for you. How on earth is Bill Shorten not further ahead of Scott Morrison? That to me defies any kind of logic.

ALBANESE: Well the fact is we’re way ahead in terms of the two-party-preferred vote. That’s the vote that counts. And if an election was held this Saturday, Labor would win 30 seats.

STEFANOVIC: How is Bill Shorten behind Scott Morrison?

ALBANESE: Well, a new leader gets a bit of a honeymoon. I think that’s happened in terms of a positive. But what they’re doing is marking down their entire team.

STEFANOVIC: Albo, how unpopular do you need to be before you get turfed?

ALBANESE: Well they are marking down their entire team, which is why they are just so far behind.

PYNE: Why don’t you answer the question?

ALBANESE: Well, I am. And what I want …

PYNE: You’re a straight talker.

ALBANESE: Our team is way ahead of their mob.

STEFANOVIC: You’re way ahead but your leader is not. Your leader is behind Scott Morrison. Who – I mean it defies any kind of logic that he is behind Scott Morrison, that’s how bad he is going.

PYNE: He’s as popular as arsenic.

ALBANESE: He leads a team that’s going extremely well.

STEFANOVIC: Come on Albo.

ALBANESE: Going extremely well, we’re a mile ahead.

PYNE: Stop it.

ALBANESE: And this mob, I mean Scott Morrison …

PYNE: He’s as popular as arsenic.

ALBANESE: Scott Morrison is just trying to – I mean this is like cats in a bag. They are all fighting and scratching. People can hear the noise out there …

STEFANOVIC: And still Bill Shorten is not more popular.

ALBANESE: And people are over it.

PYNE: Good question. Very good question, Karl – no wonder you get paid so much money.

ALBANESE: You just keep saying how well the Government is going, Christopher.

STEFANOVIC: You know what, Christopher, can we just level with each other and also the Australian people watching this morning.

PYNE: There’s only 600,000 people as part of this conversation.

STEFANOVIC: You have to know, the Australian people are sick of the way that this Government is leading this country. They are sick of it.

PYNE: They are sick of politicians talking about themselves that’s for sure. And that’s why I’ve been talking about jobs and growth.

STEFANOVIC: And your party keeps talking about themselves, the former Leader keeps talking about himself.

PYNE: Not me, I’m just talking about jobs and growth.

ALBANESE: You’ve got two former leaders as envoys, sitting on the backbench.

STEFANOVIC: I know, it’s bad.

ALBANESE: Barnaby Joyce and Tony Abbott – no one knows what their responsibility is. We can’t ask questions of them in the Parliament. But they’re being given jobs just to send them off, send them away.

STEFANOVIC: When are you going to have a crack? Bill’s not cutting it.

ALBANESE: The fact is, we are a stable team. I don’t think people want any instability. What people want is a political party that is going to focus on them and that’s the Labor Party under Bill Shorten.

STEFANOVIC: Good luck in the finals this weekend. Sorry Chris your side is not in the finals, you’re really having a bad run.

PYNE: Thanks Karl, I’m going for the Demons now. They’re my second team.

ALBANESE: Yeah, tomorrow night Souths and St George.

STEFANOVIC: Nervous, nervous Nelly.

ALBANESE: Traditional rivals. We’ll see how we go. I’ll be there, cheering on.

STEFANOVIC: You’re as nervous as Neil Mitchell.

ALBANESE: Watch it on Nine.

GEORGIE GARDNER: We don’t even pay him to say that.

ALBANESE: Go the Rabbitohs!